A work in progress 

I often describe myself as a “work in progress “and I truly do believe that’s a good definition of who I am. Yet the other day someone said that by doing this I was putting myself down. 

Am I? 

You see as far as I am concerned I have a lot left in this life to learn. That’s not to say that I haven’t achieved a lot I certainly have, but there is so much out there left for me to absorb. 

I love the fact that the world is full of knowledge and life that I have yet to learn or experience. Places to visit, people to meet. Every one of these new moments crafting me into someone new. 

I cannot describe the joy I feel when my mind gets blown by something I never knew. By an emotion I have yet to feel. 

I absolutely love being a work in progress, it allows me scope to make mistakes and try again. 

Perfection is so overrated. 

You only have to look at the beauty of a broken jug to know that life is a celebration of imperfections.

I do not see the image of myself as a work in progress as a put down or a lack of confidence, far from it. I see it as an adventure, a adventure of a lifetime yet to live.

A story of moments, experiences and sensations.

I cannot wait.

Countdown to 40

40

 

I realised last night that in under a month I turn 40. This is a major milestone in my life but one I am so excited for.

Growing up I remember thinking 40 was really old, I mean it seemed that my mom was 32 forever so I was sure I would stay this way. Yet time has moved on and I have been slowly creeping towards this age.

I remember when I turned 30 I was really freaked by it all, I didn’t feel ready to be 30 years old I was uncomfortable and not happy in my own skin. Life wasn’t easy and I had just started to show signs of the illness that changed my life. I look back to those days when I was chasing after 4 children under 10 and teaching dance. I remember just not feeling complete as if I wasn’t living life to the full.

Fast forward the last ten years and my goodness a crazy amount has happened. I have walked through some of the darkest moments of my life. My heart has been broken, tore up into millions of pieces and then trodden on. I never imagined at 30 that I would have to bury a child let alone two. I would have never been able to comprehend surviving the loss of my daughter and my foster son. Never in a million years. Yet somehow I have survived, my heart may never be complete but it is learning to love on, learning to beat strongly again and I am learning to live life to the full again.

I know deep down that 40 isn’t really a special age. I mean I preach often about celebrating every day we have here, but still I am rather excited for the day.

This may sound big headed but I like who I see in the mirror now. I may not be a dance teacher or able to fit my bum into a size 12 but I truly love my body and I’m so grateful to it. It has given me four amazing girls, completely different, independent ,inspirational girls. It allows me to foster two truly awesome boys, each a blessing in their own special way. My body may be a little battle worn but it’s not been beaten and I am so thankful for this.

I look back to the person I was 10 years ago and I know I have been on a journey. I use the term “self discovery” loosely  as is the only way to get close to describing  the transformation I feel I have faced.

I love who I am (yes I may have said that before) but I seriously do. I love my emotional side, no more will I apologise for my random tears or unexpected hugs. I’m empathic and I care and this is something I am proud of now. No more calling myself soppy and pathetic, I actually rock.

I love my courage, I am more willing to put myself out into the danger zone, being vulnerable, feeling scared but still moving forward.

I love my brain, it’s ok that I am a little geeky at times, that sometimes the idea of a good book wins against a movie or a night out. That I appreciate my own company and yes at times I get lost in my own mind.

I love myself and I love my life.

As I head towards this birthday milestone I do so with so much gratitude.

Over the last years I have had people walk into my life that have blessed me in so many ways. Friends that love me for me, deep true friendships that can pick up after a time apart just where we left off. Friends I can laugh with, friends I have cried on. I am so grateful for each and every one of them.

I am so thankful for my family, my daughters and my sons each so unique and so beautiful. Getting to watch them grow and learn and experience life is such a wonder, such a gift. My Dad, my Step Mom, my inlaws, my aunts, uncles, cousins, relantionships that I truly value and people I truly love.

My husband, I am completely in love with this crazy man, after nearly 20 years of marriage I still get that flutter in my heart when he walks into a room. He makes me laugh, he drives me insane, but he truly is my soul mate.

I am so thankful that I miss my Livvy, because missing someone is the recognition of an amazing love, a truly unbroken bond. My girl and I will be together again one day, but until then I am going to try and live as she did, fully and with all my heart.

So the count down to 40 begins and I’m so excited. I’m so ready to celebrate the 40 years I have been here with all my family and friends. An evening full of laughter, music and hopefully a gorgeous outfit.

Yet 40 is only the really the beginning, the start of a new stage in life, one I hope will be full of love and laughter and the people that really make my life truly amazing, my family and friends, because with them and because of them I actually love myself more at 40 then I ever did.

 

40 looking good

My weekly plus size fashion wishlist

The new autumn fashion are hiting the stores and I am so excited.

I am also rather shocked at what styles have been catching my eye.

Is my style changing?

Who knows anyway here is my fashion wishlist.

My first want (need) is this beautiful dress from Voodoo Vixen.

The Joni is simply beautiful.

 

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My second choice is a coat, now coats and I don’t have a great relantionship. My long arms seem to leave many coats ill fitting, but this one from ASOS really caught my eye. The style is a vintage style with a modern twist, I love it.

 

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My third choice comes from the new Martine McCutcheon from Fashion World, to be fair I could have chosen anything from this range as I absolutely love it all but this dress is just pure perfection.

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My last but not least choice for this week are these adorable boots from Evans, they are so very cute, I think they would be perfect with my new found love of dresses.

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Seriously the autumn fashion that is hititng her ours stores is something to be excited about.

I think I need to hide my bank card.

 

Nail polish with a difference.

The last 12 months or maybe a little longer I have fallen in love with make-up. I am loving learning new techniques, trying new brands and genuinely experimenting more.

This new found love has also seen me become a little addicted to nail polishes. Slowly building up a small collection of all colours.

So when the beautiful Aimee told me she was creating her own nail polish range I may have shrieked a little with joy.

You see I absolute adore Aimee her style, her humour and her kick ass view of life. She has supported me in my body confidence journey both as an inspiration and as a friend.

She is also totally stunning and is one amazing alternative plus size model. Seriously check out this photo I have pinched of her Facebook modelling page “sorry Aimee” and definitely go visit her page, her photos are so amazing. I love her alternative style.

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Anyway back to nail polish, Aimee has created the fantastic Radioactive Unicorn range. It’s nail polish with a difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The colours are amazing, the intensity of the glitter is immense. Seriously they are amazing.


Go check out her shop now, her line was released on Friday and she sold out in less than an hour.

I was lucky enough to purchase four shades all that I love. I have now pre-ordered three more. The shop will be restocked for this Saturday 5th September.


I am truly in love with these radioactive unicorn polishes.

In fact I would go as far as saying I am a……


Aimee has so many things planned for the range with some exciting new shades coming up

I cannot wait.

So if you are like me and have a little nail polish addiction and you want some intense vibrant colours check out Radioactive Unicorn I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Check out the brands pages
Radioactive Unicorn Facebook page.

Radioactive Unicorn Instagram

*I have recieved nothing for this review I just absolutely love the range.

Happy 18th Eden

I cannot believe than my second born daughter is 18 today.

Wow I have another adult.

I am so proud of my girlie.

I love her unique spirit.

I admire her passion and convictions

Happy 18th Eden Rose

18 today

Thank you for my late night chats.

For the endless perfect cups of tea you make.

Thank you for loving and caring for your siblings, your annoying brother especially.

I hope you have a fun day.

May adulthood see you living your dreams.

May you find your way in this crazy world.

Never change who you are, because you are truly amazing.

You dad and I love you so much.

Happy 18th my beautiful girl. xxxx

Happy18thEden

 

 

 

* No up to date pics are per your request xxxx

 

Style XL 2015, we came, we saw and we rocked it.

Last weekend was Style XL 2015 a plus size fashion event held in my local city of Birmingham.

Style XL is the brainchild of the wonderful Leah from http://www.leahxl.com.

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Leah is genuinely one of the nicest woman I know and someone who I owe a lot of my new found confidence too. It was only last year that I walked my first catwalk at Style XL 2014. This was thanks to the encouragement and support from Leah, this lady rocks.  Also a big shout out to her beautiful fiancée Clare who is truly lovely.

Seriously though I remember how much I shook with fear back there in 2014 I’m surprised I made it onto the stage.

Anyway back to Style XL 2015 how do I describe this weekend, two words “totally inspiring”.

The collaboration of plus size fashion brands and confidence building workshops created an awesome event.

Women from around the UK coming together to attend a fashion event where the size on your label is irrelevant.

Fashion brands showcasing the very best of plus size fashion proving that style comes in all sizes.

I had a blast.

I was excited to be booked to walk for the awesome Apples and Pears Clothing , Monroe Knows and Curvy Kate but on the day I actually also walked for Topsy Curvy and Lady Voluptuous too.

Five brands ooh get me.

This year was so different for me, although I was still rather shaky the woman who walked onto that catwalk was very different to the one from last year. I actually relished in the attention. I rocked my curves ha ha get me.

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Seriously Style XL was a great success.

Personally though for me Style XL wasn’t about the clothes (sorry brands). It was being surrounded by beautiful inspiring women.

Women that over the last year have become dear friends.

Woman working hard to empower others.

Building people up, encouraging, supporting.

My challenge  to myself this year was to turn the virtual hugs into real ones.

I am so confident behind my keyboard but this year I wanted to find that confidence in real life.

I think achieved this.

I got to catch up with old friends and make some awesome new ones.

I pushed all my boundaries, I introduced myself to people and I wore underwear on a catwalk ( don’t panic dad I’ve hidden the photos).

I achieved more than I could possibly have imagined and yes I may be having a little body wobble but I can see how far I have come.

Thank you Leah for having faith in me.

Thank you to the brands for allowing me to showcase your beautiful clothes.

I  want to end this post saying this, life is to short to wait to wear the clothes you want. Wear them now and celebrate who you are. Size is a number on a label don’t let it dictate how you live your life.

You are beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you different xxx

No rules, wear what you love..

My journey over the last two years of self discovery has birthed inside of me a new love for fashion and make up.

I’ve experimented and pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Tried colours and patterns that I would have never worn before.

I’ve had some great successes and some terrible failures but all have been a valuable part of growing.

So what have I learned?

Black is still my favourite colour but a little accent of colour can bring to life an outfit.

Pastels will cause everyone you meet to ask you if you are ill as you look a little off colour.

Wearing strong lipstick is great but make sure you drink from one side of a glass otherwise said lipstick ends up all over your forehead. Not good when schmoozing and trying to impress.

  

I can wear a dress and the sky won’t fall in.

  

Shape wear knickers sometimes roll down and cause quite a panic in the middle of an awards evening, no one noticed of course right. 😳

I love wearing hats and yes some do suit me.

  

Fake eyelashes are awesome but not stuck to your cheekbones.

I can wear heels now and again but I’m still on the search for the perfect black boots.

Heels look good but do not wear them for the first time at an event which requires you to stand for over four hours.

To be fair it’s been such an amazing time really discovering who I am and what I like .

Still I think the greatest lesson I have learned is that there are no rules. 

You wear what you want, be it a dress, a crop top ( yes Oprah that’s aimed at you) or ripped jeans. 

Never let anyone or society dictate your style. 

For years I’ve listened to others and not myself, not anymore. 

I’ve learned to love my body and in doing so I’m learning to live freely.

I’m loving fashion and make-up and the only limitation I have is my bank balance.